He's 80 years old, coached 10 No. 1's and recently went skydiving with the Army Golden Knights. So who is Nick Bollettieri?
Read a snippet below and check out the whole feature from Tim Struby on ESPN.com:
"What do you think of that?"
It's 5:30 in the morning and Nick Bollettieri, as chipper as a candy striper, is pointing to his biceps. I have to agree it's pretty impressive for an 80-year-old, but who can verbalize at this ungodly hour? No matter. The question is more on the rhetorical side. "Last night I did six laps in the pool," he continues. "Two hundred leg kicks. In bed by 10:45. Then here at 5 a.m." Here as in the Athletic & Personal Development program gym, next door to the tennis bubble on the IMG/Bollettieri Academy campus. As he stretches, pushes and pulls, Bollettieri yaps about his busy life. "Not enough hours in the day," he says. His laundry list of commitments includes spending time with his eighth wife, Cindy, and their 6-year-old adopted Ethiopian son Giovanni. There are the magazine articles he has to write and USTA videos he has to shoot. Dinners with old pals like Lou and Johnny, charity appearances, tanning, church, polo matches, skiing, exercise and TV spots. And golf. Can't forget about golf at the El Conquistador Country Club.
Of course, there's also that little coaching gig he's got. From 6 to 6 (with an hour for lunch), six days a week, he marches -- Bollettieri never strolls -- over the four blue hardcourts that serve as his de facto office. Whether it's groups, individuals, regulars or one-timers, the old man has at 'em. Barking orders. Correcting bad habits. Cracking jokes. Encouraging. Molding.
This baffled me. Why is Bollettieri, grandfather and octogenarian, at work before dawn? Why is a man who's coached 10 No. 1 players, who's an international star and essentially created the sports-academy complex industry, still punching a clock six days a week? I understand a guy like Bollettieri, a cross between Vince Lombardi and Joel Osteen, might not want to spend his golden years on the couch watching "Law & Order" reruns, but what could possibly motivate him to pound the pavement (literally -- he never sits when coaching) for 11 hours a day? "I don't think anybody else could do a workday like mine," says Bollettieri. "Unless it was a necessity."